Cognitive Bias Codex Flashcards Preview

Dick Oliver > Cognitive Bias Codex > Flashcards

Flashcards in Cognitive Bias Codex Deck (172):

How noticing too-much-information work? (Roehampton Gate)

1 - We notice things that are already primed in memory.


2 - Visually-striking/anthropomorphic things stick out.


3 - We notice when something has changed.


4 - We are drawn to details that confirm our own existing beliefs; we ignore details that contradicts our own beliefs.


5 - We notice flaws in others more easily than flaws in ourselves.


Describe the availability heuristic? (Bike Station Next to the Main Gate)

Only immediate examples that come to mind first are taken for evaluating.


What is Attentional bias? (Roehampton Lake Next to Southlands)

Perception affected by the recurring thoughts at the time.


For example, attentional biases in anxiety are characterized by their intrinsic negativity, in particular, their consistency in selecting threatening stimuli instead of neutral or positive stimuli.


The illusory truth effect. (The Reef)

The tendency to believe information to be correct after repeated exposure.


Mere exposure effect. (Laundry Room at Southlands)

A psychological phenomenon by which people tend to develop a preference for things merely because they are familiar with them.


Retrieval failure. (Southlands Toilet)

It is the failure to recall information without memory cues.


Context Effect. (Lecture hall of Language & Power)

Describes the influence of environmental factors on one's perception of a stimulus.


We have little trouble reading "H" and "A" in their appropriate contexts, even though they take on the same form in each word.


Mood-congruent memory bias. (Southlands Green Square at)

Not to be mistaken for mood-dependent memory, it is a bias of the current mood determining the affective association of the recalled memories.


Frequency illusion. (Southlands Parking Space)

After learning some bit of new information we start noticing it everywhere else.


Empathy gap. (Southlands Main Entrance)

The cognitive bias in which people underestimate the influences of visceral drives on their own attitudes, preferences, and behaviours.


The most important aspect of this idea is that human understanding is "state-dependent". For example, when one is angry, it is difficult to understand what it is like for one to be calm, and vice versa


Omission bias. (Southlands Big Theatre)

It is the tendency to judge harmful actions as worse, or less moral than equally harmful omissions (inactions) because actions are more obvious than inactions.


 Base rate fallacy. (Southlands Inside-Building Park)

If presented with related base rate information (i.e. generic, general information) and specific information (information pertaining only to a certain case), the mind tends to ignore the former and focus on the latter.


Bizarreness effect. (Bede House) 

Bizarre material to be better remembered than common material.


von Restorff effect. (Mail Room) 

When homogeneous stimuli are presented, the stimulus that differs from the rest is more likely to be remembered.


Picture superiority effect.

Pictures and images are more likely to be remembered than words.


Negativity bias. (Digby Square)

Even when of equal intensity, things of a more negative nature have a greater effect on one's psychological state and processes.


Self-reference effect. (The Den Diner) 

The level on which the self is implicated in given information affects recall rate.


Anchoring Bias (Chadwick Entrance)

Human tendency to rely too heavily on the first piece of information offered.


The Focusing Effect 

(Chadwick Room)

Understanding and attributing actions to one or two outcomes to easily modify our behaviour correspondingly. 


Money illusion

(Roehampton Statue)

The belief that money has a fixed value in terms of its purchasing power.


Consequently, changes in prices are seen to represent real gains and losses.


Framing effect

(Bus Station at Chadwick)

A tendency to avoid risk when a positive frame is presented but seek risks when a negative frame is presented. 




Distinction bias

(Kitchen Chadwick)

The tendency to view two options as more distinctive when evaluating them simultaneously than when evaluating them separately.


Conservatism - belief revision -

(Anand's Room)

The tendency to revise one's belief insufficiently when presented with new evidence.


It describes human belief revision in which persons over-weigh the prior distribution (base rate) and under-weigh new sample evidence when compared to Bayesian belief-revision.


Weber's law

(Chadwick Pineapple)

A law quantifying perceptual changes stating a measurable constant ratio for it.




 Confirmation bias

(Whitelands Main Gate)

Also called confirmatory bias or myside bias, is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms one's preexisting beliefs or hypotheses.


Congruence bias 

(Reception Whitelands)

Overreliance and irrational confirmation bias on the first-thought solution whilst neglecting other alternatives.


Post-purchase rationalization

(Whitelands MayMonarchs Corridor)

The tendency to retroactively ascribe positive attributes to an option one has selected. 


Selective perception

(Whitelands Canteen)

The tendency not-to-notice & more-quickly forget stimuli that cause emotional discomfort and contradict our prior beliefs. 


 Observer-expectancy effect

(Whitelands Psy-Labs)

Also known as experimenter effect, it is when the researcher's cognitive bias causes them to subconsciously influence the participants of an experiment.


Ostrich effect

(Biology department, Whitelands)

the attempt made by investors to avoid negative financial information.


The name comes from the common (but false) legend that ostriches bury their heads in the sand to avoid danger.


Subjective validation

(Whitelands Green Field)

a cognitive bias by which a person will consider a statement or another piece of information to be correct if it has any personal meaning or significance to them.


Semmelweis reflex

(Whitelands Study Room)

a metaphor for the reflex-like tendency to reject new evidence or new knowledge because it contradicts established norms, beliefs or paradigms.


 Continued influence effect

(Paul's office)

term refers to the way false claims enter memory and continue to influence beliefs even after they have been corrected.


Bias blind spot

(Froebel Line)

a tendency to recognize the impact of biases on the judgement of others, while failing to see the impact of biases on one's own judgment.


 Naïve cynicism


basically, the idea that people naïvely believe they see things objectively and others do not 


Naïve realism


is the idea that the senses provide us with direct awareness of objects as they really are



production of fabricated, distorted, or misinterpreted memories about oneself or the world without the conscious intention to deceive.


Clustering illusion

tendency to erroneously consider the inevitable "streaks" or "clusters" arising in small samples from random distributions to be non-random.


Insensitivity to sample size

a cognitive bias that occurs when people judge the probability of obtaining a sample statistic without respect to the sample size.


Neglect of probability

a tendency to disregard probability when making a decision under uncertainty.


Small risks are typically either neglected entirely (having a car accident) or hugely overrated (dying from a terrorist attack).




 Anecdotal fallacy

a tendency to assume that if one event happens after another, then the first must be the cause of the second. 


Illusion of validity

a tendency to overestimates ability to interpret and predict accurately the outcome when analyzing a set of data—espeically when the data "tell" a coherent story.


Masked-man fallacy

The apples and oranges law--is committed when one makes an illicit use of Leibniz's law in an argument.

Leibniz's law states that, if one object has a certain property, while another object does not have the same property, the two objects cannot be identical.


Recency illusion

the belief that things you have noticed only recently are in fact recent.


Gambler's fallacy

the mistaken belief that, if something happens more frequently than normal during a given period, it will happen less frequently in the future.


Hot-hand fallacy

the sometimes fallacious belief a person who experiences success with a random event has a greater probability of further success in additional attempts. 


Illusory correlation

the phenomenon of perceiving a relationship between variables (typically people, events, or behaviors) even when no such relationship exists



when the mind responds to a stimulus, usually an image or a sound, by perceiving a familiar pattern where none exists 



the attribution of human traits, emotions, or intentions to non-human entities.


How do we process things with not enough meaning?

  1. Find stories and patterns.
  2. Use stereotypes, generalities, and prior histories whenever there are new specific instances or gaps in information. 
  3. Imagine things we’re fond of as better than things aren’t fond of.
  4. Simplify probabilities and numbers to make them easier to think about. 
  5. Think that we know what others are thinking. 
  6. Project our current mindset and assumptions onto the past and future.


Group attribution error

people's tendency to believe either

(1) that the characteristics of an individual group member are reflective of the group as a whole

(2) that a group's decision outcome must reflect the preferences of individual group members.


Ultimate attribution error

arises as a way to explain an outgroup's negative behaviour as flaws in their personality, and to explain an outgroup's positive behaviour as a result of chance or circumstance.



 any thought widely adopted about specific types of individuals or certain ways of behaving intended to represent the entire group of those individuals or behaviours as a whole.



the belief that people and/or phenomenon have an underlying and unchanging 'essence'.


Functional fixedness

a cognitive bias that limits a person to using an object only in the way it is traditionally used.


Moral credential effect

a bias that occurs when a person's track record as a good egalitarian establishes in them an unconscious ethical certification that increases the likelihood of less egalitarian decisions later.


Just-world hypothesis

the tendency to attribute consequences to—or expect consequences as the result of—a universal force that restores moral balance.


Because people want to believe that the world is fair, they will look for ways to explain or rationalize away injustice, often irrationally blaming the person in a situation who is actually the victim.


Argument from fallacy

the formal fallacy of analyzing an argument and inferring that, since it contains a fallacy, its conclusion must be false.


In other words, rather than being a proposition that is false, is an entire argument that is fallacious.


Authority bias

the tendency to attribute greater accuracy to the opinion of an authority figure--regardless of their knowledge.


Automation bias

the propensity for humans to favor suggestions from automated decision-making systems and to ignore contradictory information made without automation, even if it is correct.


Bandwagon effect

As more people come to believe in something, others also "hop on the bandwagon" regardless of the underlying evidence.



The realization of personal expectations upon false physical premises.


Halo effect

When the brain allows specific positive traits to positively influence the overall evaluation of a person.


In-group favouritism

a pattern of favouring members of one's in-group over out-group members. 


Out-group homogeneity

one's perception of out-group members as more similar to one another than are in-group members:


e.g. "they are alike; we are diverse"


Cross-race effect

the tendency to more easily recognize faces of the race that one is most familiar with (which is most often one's own race).


Cheerleader effect

a bias that causes people to think individuals are more attractive when they are in a group. 


Well travelled road effect

a cognitive bias in which travellers will estimate the time taken to traverse routes differently depending on their familiarity with the route. 


Frequently travelled routes are assessed as taking a shorter time than unfamiliar routes.


Not invented here

a stance adopted with the purpose to avoid using or buying already existing products and services because of their external origins and costs.


Reactive devaluation

when a proposal is devalued if it appears to originate from an antagonist. 


Positivity effect

This effect is an age-related preference for positive information over negative information.


Mental accounting

the tendency for people to separate their money into separate accounts based on a variety of subjective criteria, like the source of the money and intent for each account.


Normalcy bias

an everything-is-okay belief people hold when facing a disaster.


Appeal to probability

a logical fallacy where one assumes that a thing is inevitable simply because it is possible.

This argument has the form:
Something can go wrong (premise).
Therefore, something will go wrong (invalid conclusion).


Murphy's law

Anything that can happen will happen.


Subadditivity effect

the tendency to judge the probability of the whole to be less than the probabilities of the parts.


Survivorship bias

the logical error of concentrating on the people or things that made it past some selection process and overlooking those that did not, typically because of their lack of visibility. 


Denomination effect

a form of cognitive bias relating to currency, suggesting people may be less likely to spend larger currency denominations than their equivalent value in smaller denominations.


The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two

the idea that the number of objects an average human can hold in working memory is 7 ± 2. This is frequently referred to as Miller's law.


Zero-Sum Bias

bias describes intuitively judging a situation to be adding up to one whole thing.


Curse of knowledge

a cognitive bias that occurs when you unknowingly assume that the others have the background to understand.


Illusion of transparency

a tendency for people to overestimate the degree to which their personal mental state is known by others.


Extrinsic incentives bias

our tendency to assume that others are more driven than we are by external rewards for work.


Illusion of asymmetric insight

This bias "has been traced to people’s tendency to view their own spontaneous or off-the-cuff responses to others' questions as relatively unrevealing even though they view others' similar responses as meaningful".


Illusion of external agency

An attribution bias stemming from underestimating the capacity to generate satisfaction with future outcomes.

A result leading often to the mistaken conclusion of attributing that satisfaction to an external agent.  


Spotlight effect

the phenomenon in which people tend to believe they are being noticed more than they really are.


Hindsight bias

is the inclination, after an event has occurred, to see the event as having been predictable.


That is, despite there having been little or no objective basis for predicting it.


Outcome bias

While similar to the hindsight bias, the two phenomena are markedly different.


The hindsight bias focuses on memory distortion to favor the actor, while the outcome bias focuses exclusively on weighting the past outcome heavier than other pieces of information in deciding if a past decision was correct.


Moral luck

A case of moral luck occurs whenever luck makes a moral difference. 



the unsupported belief that a society or institution is tending towards decline... a kind of rosy retrospection to view the past favourably and future negatively.


Telescoping effect

a tendency of people to perceive recent events as being more remote than they are and distant events as being more recent than they are.


Rosy retrospection

the psychological phenomenon of people sometimes judging the past disproportionately more positively than they judge the present.


Impact bias

a form of which is the durability bias, is the tendency for people to overestimate the length or the intensity of future feeling states.


Pessimism bias

an effect in which people exaggerate the likelihood that negative things will happen to them.

People with depression are particularly likely to exhibit pessimism bias.


Planning fallacy

when predictions about the time needed to complete tasks display an optimism bias, which results in underestimating the completion time of that task.


Time-saving bias

In general, people underestimate the time that could be saved when increasing from a relatively low speed (e.g., 25 mph or 40 km/h) and overestimate the time that could be saved when increasing from a relatively high speed (e.g., 55 mph or 90 km/h).


Pro-innovation bias

the belief that an innovation should be adopted by whole society without the need of its alteration.


Projection bias

tendency to falsely project current preferences onto a future event.


Restraint bias

tendency for people to overestimate their ability to control impulsive behavior.


Self-consistency bias

the idea that we are more consistent in our attitudes, opinions, and beliefs than we actually are.


Overconfidence effect

a bias in which a person's subjective confidence in his or her judgements is reliably greater than the objective accuracy of those judgements, especially when confidence is relatively high.


Egocentric bias

the tendency to rely too heavily on one's own perspective and/or have a higher opinion of oneself than reality.


Optimism bias

a cognitive bias that causes a person to believe that they are at a lesser risk of experiencing a negative event compared to others.


Social desirability bias

a type of response bias that is the tendency of survey respondents to answer questions in a manner that will be viewed favorably by others.


Third-person effect

 hypothesis predicts that people tend to perceive that mass media messages have a greater effect on others than on themselves, based on personal biases.


Barnum effect

whereby individuals give high accuracy ratings to descriptions of their personality that supposedly are tailored specifically to them but that are, in fact, vague and general enough to apply to a wide range of people.


Illusion of control

tendency for people to overestimate their ability to control events;


for example, it occurs when someone feels a sense of control over outcomes that they demonstrably do not influence.


False consensus effect

tendecy to overestimate the extent to which own opinions, beliefs, preferences, values, and habits are normal and typical of those of others.


Dunning–Kruger effect

a cognitive bias wherein people of low ability suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their cognitive ability as greater than it is.


Hard–easy effect

a tendency to overestimate the probability of one's success at a task perceived as hard, and to underestimate the likelihood of one's success at a task perceived as easy.


Illusory superiority

whereby a person overestimates their own qualities and abilities, in relation to the same qualities and abilities of other persons. 


The Lake Wobegon effect

a natural human tendency to overestimate one's capabilities in comparison to others.


Lake Wobegon appears in the radio series 'A Prairie Home Companion', by Garrison Keillor, where "all the children are above average".


Self-serving bias

perceptual process that is distorted by the need to maintain and enhance self-esteem, or the tendency to perceive oneself in an overly favorable manner.


Actor-observer bias

tendency to attribute one's own actions to external causes while attributing other people's behaviors to internal causes.


Defensive attribution hypothesis

o a set of beliefs used as a shield against the fear that one will be the victim or cause of a serious mishap.


Trait ascription bias

the tendency for people to view themselves as relatively variable in terms of personality, behavior and mood while viewing others as much more predictable in their personal traits across different situations.


Effort justification

stemming from cognitive dissonance, effort justification is a person's tendency to attribute a value to an outcome that they had to put effort into achieving greater than the objective value of the outcome.


Risk compensation

"The safer skydiving gear becomes, the more chances skydivers will take, in order to keep the fatality rate constant"


Peltzman Effect ​

You Can't Make Me--hypothesized tendency of people to react to a safety regulation by increasing other risky behavior


Hyperbolic discounting

tendency for people to increasingly choose a smaller-sooner reward over a larger-later reward


Appeal to novelty

a fallacy in which one prematurely claims that an idea or proposal is correct or superior, exclusively because it is new and modern.


Identifiable victim effect

tendency of individuals to offer greater aid when an identifiable person is observed under hardship, as compared to a large, vaguely defined group with the same need.


Sunk cost

a cost that has already been incurred and cannot be recovered.


Escalation of commitment

an individual or group facing increasingly negative outcomes from some decision, action, or investment nevertheless continues the same behavior rather than alter course.


The actor maintains behaviors that are irrational, but align with previous decisions and actions.


Loss aversion

people's tendency to prefer avoiding losses to acquiring equivalent gains.


IKEA effect

consumers place a disproportionately high value on products they partially created. 


Generation effect

a phenomenon where information is better remembered if it is generated from one's own mind rather than simply read.


Zero-risk bias

So when presented with two options, we will go with the one that eliminates a small risk completely rather than the one that decreases a large risk exponentially because there is still an element of risk involved. 


Disposition effect

tendency of investors to sell shares whose price has increased, while keeping assets that have dropped in value.


Unit Bias

tendency for individuals to want to complete a unit of a given item or task.

e.g. people want to finish whatever portion they have no matter the size. 

perception of completion that is satisfying to people.


Pseudocertainty effect

tendency for people to perceive an outcome as certain while it is actually uncertain.


Endowment effect

people ascribe more value to things merely because they own them.


Backfire effecrt

given evidence against their beliefs, people can reject the evidence and believe even more strongly.


System justification theory (SJT)

differs from the status quo bias in that it is predominately motivational rather than cognitive. It posits that people need and want to see prevailing social systems as fair and just.


Reactance Bias

the tendency to do something different from what someone wants you to do in reaction to a perceived attempt to constrain your freedom of choice.


Decoy Effect

a change in preference between two options when also presented with a third option that is asymmetrically dominated.


Social comparison bias

Tendecy to experience feelings of dislike and competitiveness with someone that is seen as physically or mentally better than yourself.



Status quo bias

a preference for the current state of affairs that favour decision maker for current ways of doing. 


Ambiguity effect

people tend to select options for which the probability of a favorable outcome is known, over an option for which the probability of a favorable outcome is unknown.


Information bias 

believing that the more information that can be acquired to make a decision, the better, even if that extra information is irrelevant for the decision.


Rhyme as reason effect

more accurate or truthful when text is rewritten to rhyme.


Bike-shedding effect

Parkinson's law of triviality is an observation about the human tendency to devote a great deal of time to unimportant details while crucial matters go unattended. 


Belief bias

tendency to judge the strength of arguments based on the plausibility of their conclusion rather than how strongly they support that conclusion.


Delmore effect

our tendency to provide more articulate and explicit goals for lower priority areas of our lives. 


Therefore, the simpler the problem to solve, the more time we spend solving it. And the more complex the problem, the higher is the tendency to avoid the topic.


Conjunction fallacy

 it is assumed that specific conditions are more probable than a single general one.


Occam's razor

the more assumptions you have to make, the more unlikely an explanation is. 


Less-is-better effect

preference reversal that occurs when the lesser or smaller alternative of a proposition is preferred when evaluated separately, but not evaluated together.


Misattribution of memory

ability to remember information correctly, but being wrong about the source of that information


Source confusion

unconscious transference. For instance, an individual may recall seeing an event in person when in reality they only witnessed the event on television.



the belief that a thought is novel when in fact it is a memory.


False memory

where a person recalls something that did not happen.



incorporation of misinformation into memory due to leading questions, deception and other causes.


Spacing effect 

long-term memory is enhanced when learning events are spaced apart in time


Difference between bias, stereotype and prejudice?

Biases include only looking at a partial side of the evidence. Stereotype is generalising the evidence and prejudice is deciding pre-maturity on the evidence.


Fading effect bias

information regarding negative emotions tends to be forgotten more quickly than that associated with pleasant emotions.


Suffix effect

the effect where the memory of the last item is weakened if another item is add at the end of the list.


It can be called dilution effect of that last added item.


Serial-position effect 

tendency of a person to recall the first and last items in a series best, and the middle items worst


Recency effect 

 people tend to begin recall with the end of the list, recalling those items best.


Primicy effect

items at the beginning are more easily recalled.


Part-list cueing effect

counterintuitive phenomenon in which cuing is detrimental to memory performance.

e.g. when subjects are provided a subset of previously learned items as retrieval cues for recall of the remaining items, these cues typically are not facilitatory.


Modality effect 

higher level of recall of the last few items of a list when presentation is auditory as opposed to visual.


List length effect

recognition performance for a short list is superior to that for a long list. 


Duration neglect 

is the psychological observation that people's judgments of the unpleasantness of painful experiences depend very little on the duration of those experiences.


Misinformation effect

 happens when a person's recall of episodic memories becomes less accurate because of post-event information


Leveling and Sharpening

Sharpening is an exaggeration of differences, Leveling a minimization of differences.

People who are levelers tend to select many memories from the past in an attempt to clarify and categorize newly acquired information. Sharpeners, on the other hand, seem to select fewer memories when processing new knowledge.


Peak–end rule 

people judge an experience largely based on how they felt at its peak (i.e., its most intense point) and at its end, rather than based on the total sum or average of every moment of the experience.


Levels of processing effect

describes memory recall of stimuli as a function of the depth of mental processing. Deeper levels of analysis produce more elaborate, longer-lasting, and stronger memory traces than shallow levels of analysis.



 inattentive or forgetful behavior.


Testing effect

long-term memory is increased when some of the learning period is devoted to retrieving the to-be-remembered information through testing with proper feedback.


Next-in-line effect

Recall tended worst for the information that is immediately presented before being asked to perform. 


Google effect

also called digital amnesia, is the tendency to forget information that can be found readily online by using Internet search engines.


The “tip of the tongue” (TOT) phenomenon

a state in which one cannot quite recall a familiar word but can recall words of similar form and meaning.